Approximately 16 million residents of Shanghai are being tested for COVID-19 during the second stage of the lockdown, which moved to the western half of China’s biggest city and financial capital on Friday. In the meantime, residents of Shanghai’s eastern districts who were due to be released from isolation after four days have been warned that their lockdowns could be extended if cases of COVID-19 are found in their compounds.
China’s two-phase lockdown, which has taken place over a period of eight days to allow testing of its entire population, has rattled global markets. A monthly survey showed decreased manufacturing activity in China in March, as lockdowns and other restrictions forced factories to stop production. Puxi residents on the west side of the Huangpu River dividing Shanghai are prohibited from leaving their neighborhoods and housing compounds for four days starting Friday. Some compound gates were locked from the outside, while groceries and meals were delivered to collection points.
Residents were told to report for testing at designated sites where they encountered long lines and waits of more than 90 minutes as government workers and volunteers wearing full protective gear went door-to-door with megaphones in the city of 26 million people. Despite no specific orders, many people decided to stay at home in Shanghai during a widespread lockdown, even though the city had never been subject to such a widespread lockdown before. It’s a pretty tense situation at the moment. There were 1,787 COVID-19 cases recorded in China on Thursday, including 358 in Shanghai, according to the National Health Commission. There were 5,442 who tested positive without becoming ill, 4,144 in Shanghai.
Roads and public transport have been shut down, bringing the normally bustling metropolis to a halt. Residents are being advised to stay put, but airports and train stations remain open. Despite easing restrictions elsewhere, China continues to adhere to its zero-COVID policy. When the virus first appeared in Wuhan in 2020, China used the 76-day lockdown to show its hard-line posture.